Tag-Archive for » John Heald «

Making That Final Resting Place At Sea

People have been buried at sea, by choice and by misfortune, since the beginning of time. Is it a sign of the apocalypse that more people are requesting that their final resting places be where there will never be a headstone.

Apparently so.

In fact, Carnival provides burials at sea as a service. It's a serious business, as it should be, except that it's not a business at all. Carnival regularly arranges such ceremonies at no charge and it's becoming more, er, popular.

But if you think it's just a matter of taking poor ol' dad's ashes in your checked luggage Carnival Freedomand gently slipping them into the ocean, think again. There are rules and regulations to be followed:

• The ashes must be brought in board in a sealed urn, where they must remain until the ceremony
• There must be a death certificate
• A document certifying that the cremation was performed at a licensed U.S. crematorium
• The ship must be at least 12 miles from land

The ceremony is private, so other passengers will be oblivious to it. When it's over, the captain gives the survivor(s) a signed document with the longitude and latitude coordinates of where the loved one was buried.

Carnival's Senior Cruise Director John Heald told USA Today's Fran Golden that he gets at least one inquiry a week for burials at sea. Carnival arranges about 200 such ceremonies each year.

This type of burial at sea was unheard-of a few years ago. Despite its growth, it' is safe to assume people aren't standing in line because nobody's in hurry to join that crowd.

Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines

In the news…

• Blue Man Group, Geoffrey Zakarian gone from Norwegian ships
• Chefs Cat Cora and Suzanne Tracht on 4-day Princess cruise
• Princess announces Room With A View Getaway Sweepstakes

Today at portsandbows.com: Carnival invests $33 million in Barcelona

Carnival Fascination
7 nights
September 7, 2015
Jacksonville (return): Nassau, Freeport
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $35

Looking for a Laugh? Carnival Cruise Director John Heald has a Belly Full

Every once in a while, Carnival's legendary cruise director John Heald writes something that is so irresistibly funny that it's incumbent on us to share it with you. Maybe with John Heald, you have to be in the right mood to appreciate his humor, or maybe you just have to ignore its trashy nature, but there are many things people can say about this monster personality. One thing you cannot say is that he isn't funny.

This missive is appropriately entitled The Lido Deck Diet. He managed to restrain himself and not wait to write it until after Christmas, when the whole world goes on a diet.

As to whether this is a knee-slapper…you'll have to decide. One of us thought so, one of us was on the fence.

Check it out for yourself — John Heald's Blog.

Norwegian Star
14 nights
November 10, 2013
Miami, Cartagena, Panama Canal, Puntarenas, Puerto Chiapas, HuatulcoPuerto VallartaCabo San LucasLos Angeles
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $42


Helpful Heald The Cruise Director

The world's best-known cruise director is Carnival's John Heald, who gets a kick out of shocking his readers with sometimes crude stories and borderline language, or borderline language and crude stories.

And, just like the papparazzi who keep taking and selling private pictures of public people for publication, readers keep going back for more.

Sometimes, there is good reason to go back. One such blog is a beneficial read for everyone, told in typical Healdelese, which makes it not only helpful and interesting but also entertaining. 

Let's put it this way:

If you're not intrigued by his tale of a "stunning girl from latvia with huge breasts" then skip it. If that's salacious enough to command your attention, click on John Heald's blog and you'll get the whole story.

At the very least, you'll chuckle.

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas
7 nights
August 23, 2013
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Anchorage
Inside: $399
Cost per day: $57

Carnival's Irrepressible John Heald

This month marked our first exposure to "The Big Man" of cruise blogging, John Heald. His is not the most erudite writing you'll find about cruising. He doesn't hit the computer keys in perfect English, or even close to it. He doesn't always keep it clean, as they say.

He just has the most readers.

His blogs are more like one long paragraph with a myriad of thoughts strung together, sometimes even connected. He is funny and, we'd heard, even funnier in person.

And it's true.

He talks like he writes…one long paragraph…non-stop…off-color sometimes …funny most of the time. Carnival has either been in love with him or put up with him for a long time. Like 25 years.

"Originally, John [Heald] was a bar waiter [on a Carnival ship] and failed," says the cruise line's President and CEO, Gerry Cahill. "He couldn't get the drinks straight, so we promoted him to cruise director [Heald claims he was an aerobics instructor in between]. And today, he's the best-known cruise director in the industry and the best-known blogger in the industry."

At the time, Heald was presiding over the Carnival Breeze's naming ceremony, as only he can, in Miami. When he paraded two of Godmother Tracy Mourning's 'Honey Bugs' onto the stage to participate as models down his catwalk, he promised them a prize.

"It's a Lamborghini," he told them, then asked: "Do you know what that is?…good, it's a pencil."

To the Godmother, he had a message:

"You are also the Godmother of the ship's 1,300 crew members, Tracy. It is your job to remember their birthdays."

His humor is not always that printable, although he seems to get away with it at John Heald's Blog, which he claims is viewed by something like six million people a month…or three million people twice a month…or five thousand people 1,200 times a month. Whatever, it's a lot.

Obsessed with actor Megan Fox and screen legend James Bond, Heald was the recipient of the original Bond Watch as a thank-you for his 25 years of service to Carnival. Since he was momentarily speechless, Cahill slipped in what Heald's real value is to the cruise line:

"I've seen him with a thousand people who didn't have a clue who he was, and within 15 minutes they were his best friends."

That's big, even for a big man like John Heald.

Ruby Princess
7 nights
January 13, 2013

Fort Lauderdale (return): Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Turk
Inside: $549
Cost per day: $78

Cruise Awards from the UK

There are so many cruise lines, passengers, critics and assorted opinions in North America that it's easy to forget about what the rest of the world thinks about cruise lines.

Today, we bring you a sampling.

It comes from the United Kingdom, where readers of Cruise International Magazine cast 20,000 ballots to pick the best of everything…everything from cruise agent to learning to well-being to — of course — cruise line.

You might be surprised by some of the results.

Instead of saving the best for last, let's reveal right off the top that the best cruise line is…Carnival. It's not exactly like winning Best Picture at the Oscars, but it's a feather in the cap of a cruise line that doesn't do much more than put its toe in the water in Europe. That makes it a curious choice.

Either Brits like to cross the ocean and sail on Carnival ships, or they're enamored with the British humor in the world according to John Heald, Carnival's blogger-in-chief. If you don't think that's possible, you should know that Best Cruise Blogger was one of the magazine awards, and Heald won it.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the red carpet…

Best FoodCunard, with an honorable mention to Holland America

Best for ActivitiesRoyal Caribbean, followed by Celebrity

Best Innovation — Carnival's 5D Cinema, ahead of Norwegian's Ice Bar on the Epic

Best for LearningFred.Olsen first, Cunard second

Best Luxury Cruise LineSeabourn number one, Oceania second

Best EntertainmentPrincess, followed by Carnival, with nary a mention of Norwegian

Best Shore ExcursionsUniworld, and honorable mention for Fred.Olsen

Best for KidsDisney, with Carnival best of the others

Best Destination (Europe) — Norway, then Stockholm, even though one is a country and the other a city

Best Destination (Rest of World)Alaska, then Jamaica

And in the event you think any of those are strange choices, this has to be the strangest…

Best River Cruise LineViking first, Uniworld second

Best Luxury River Cruise Line — Uniworld first, Viking second

Carnival Breeze
15 nights
November 6, 2012
Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Las Palmas, Antigua, St. Maarten, Miami
Inside: $799
Cost per day: $53

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